Part 23: Turns 161-181
Memories of a better time - Let's Play Sword of the Stars as the Hiver Imperium.
Update 10. Turns 161-181
I played this, and I still want to play more. Compare that with the last SOTS2 update where I struggled to play through the last 6 turns - even before I started devoting all my construction fleets to Gate stations.
Also, this is the third time I've played these turns, so I have some idea what is coming. But I've got some other things I want to research too, so I'll try to stick to responding to events as they happen.
Also - fuck bioweapons forever.
And Gimme more ship names. Otherwise next update any new ships (which I think there will be), expect a lot of dolphin abuse.
Anyhow, when we last left off we had some new friends coming to visit! Hooray.
They're so new that we haven't even decided how to deal with them. When they fire missiles, I think it's safe to say they're hostile. Click the red dot and it's weapons free time.
Such hodgepodge ships. The guns are basically strapped on the outside!
And with only two volleys, their first ship dies.
(I have always found Zuul ships relatively fragile. They rely on numbers, not durability)
One of the last ships they bring in is this one. A lot more durable than the rest of their offerings.
(In the other two attempts, the first thing they did was shoot their asscannon at me. This update their rip-bores just charged straight at me)
It really is a lot tougher.
Then something a little spooky happens. We detect incoming ships, but cannot get any sort of idea as to numbers or anything.
Knowing that the Liir have previously attacked from 90 degrees off centre, I move the defensive ships to intercept if they come that way. Hopefully it's just a scout.
If it is, it is a pair of scout cruisers with bioweapons!
(Remember how posters, either in this thread or Aethernet's talked about cloaked Bio-weapon ships? Say hello to two of them.)
We couldn't stop them all.
Spoilers - even firing their guns doesn't de-cloak them.
Since we already know they are assimilation tipped, our goal now is to survive for as long as possible, so that the Liir hopefully destroy the colony rather than wait until it captures.
Also meet the Heavy Fusion Cannon. 3 shots of burny fusion powered pain.
Oh, FYI, a single hit of assimilation plague shuts down all planetary industrial output. So I can't repair the ships in orbit. I ALMOST pulled them back, but then I remembered when I accidentally spread plague.
There are two technologies on the path to Anti-cloaking. The first is this one - Integrated sensors. This one means whoever you click on in battle shares sensor coverage.
We move our two ships to again try and stem the bio-bombardment.
In news that will surprise no-one, it doesn't work any better this time.
Weapons fire indicates there is a lot more than just a pair of bio-weapon cruisers, too.
Our ships have no chance. Then as a precautionary fuck you tale...
With ships present, they were totally invisible. Now our platforms can detect (and shoot!) at them. -_- Would've been handy to know earlier.
Our gate actually survives. If I had anti-cloaking ships already I would counterattack. As is, it would just be a waste of ships.
This also shuts down our trade in the sector. You know, if losing a colony wasn't enough already.
After the gate at Shaggi falls, we get the OTHER technology we needed researched. Deep scan modules allow Destroyers and Cruisers to penetrate enemy cloaking technology, as well as significantly extending sensor ranges.
With the loss of a colony and trade sector, I really need more spacebux coming in. Only one thing for it!
AI Administration also contains a stealth research boost, since research is based on your income.
Given that this is practically the design I always aim for with my gate ships, AND that I'm fighting Liir, who have a high chance to get cloaking, I really should've had these bridges a long time ago. The other ship that I usually put them on is my command ship, since it's always in battle and I try to keep it safe as a rule.
While I'm building up new Gateships for literally everywhere (deepscan is that good. And that important), more squishy Zuul ships come towards us. Which will give me something to vent my frustration at dolphins on, at least.
I love how, if it's the turn your fleet is entering the system, they actually spawn from the gate.
I start the gate rebuilding process. And hope we don't get any inconveniently timed incoming fleets. If I had 2 full fleets, I'd station 1 at the "at risk" worlds while they decommission their old gate, and have one on rapid response. But that's a luxury I just don't have now.
Deep scans let us get a lot more information about nearby systems and fleet movements.
One weird thing the AI does is it doesn't move intercept fleets back into its regular pool of ships. It just leaves them in space forever.
If they're close enough, our improved sensors can even tell what ships the enemy is bringing.
We successfully research AI Administration. Despite reloading the auto-save, I still forgot to capture comparative treasury screens.
When I see these will take 1 turn, I can't say no. I really want a weapon that can deal with those Bio-missiles.
The Tarka are either allied with the Dolphins, or have balls of steel.
Oh yeah, being Hivers, we have a good chance at ballistic technologies, so we get Heavy Stormers too. I chose to grab the AI factories instead.
Of course, no amount of sensor coverage protects you from being 1-turn jumped. The worst part - I just sent a fleet to attack the Liir. If they were still here, we'd have the dolphins outnumbered.
Those fancy bridge sections are their cloaking emmitters. On the up side, they are incredibly weak.
Not that that is much consolation when it is 3 v 6
I still try and wreck the command ship. If we can keep the gate intact somehow, we can drop a ton of shipping on them next turn.
Not that I had much of a chance.
Fucking space dolphins!
So I figure why not get that 50% industrial output bonus now. We could use more ship production. And there are other techs I want too. What's the worst that could happen?
The enemy fleet comes at another of our worlds. I may actually need tunnelling sensors and sensor satellites to pick them up properly in deep space. So it may have been a sneaky two turn.
Who didn't see that coming?
And for the first time in a while, I hit the gate limit. Also, the ticker includes the stealthed ships in the count, even if I can only examine 4.
I foolishly didn't target the command ship first, so we get bioweaponed! AGAIN.
We do clear the skies at least. I just have to hope that the infected don't outnumber our loyal children.
I got AI factories, then finally get around to strengthening my ships.
Other engineering technologies not researched yet include mining and mega freighters!
Leets try that attacking thing again now we're slightly better equipped.
Oh, did I mention that the Liir sent ships to reinforce their newest colony?
Shenanigans! why is my gate ship the closest thing to the Liir! WHY.
The plan is kill the command ship, then kill the reinforcements and hope they'll target our warships instead of the gate.
My command ship gets too close to the enemy fleet, and is slowly damaged. Only incidental fire, but it is enough.
They get my gate.
The worst part, near the end of the fight, my other command ship gets its ass shot down. I would swear it survived, but the game disagrees. I pull back the non-combat ships so I'm guaranteed to get warcruisers in the fight
There are still ships left on their side. We manage to keep our second gate in one piece, at least. Though it's a close thing.
Naturally, there's another Liir attack next turn. The game sometimes is generous enough to let you bring extra ships when you have had a fleet present for a while.
Though it was just a refinery ship to support their other ships. Thankfully it flies AWAY from the nearly dead gate.
Finally, with a fleet 4 turns away from one of the worlds the Liir stole, there is only one choice for our research.
So yeah. That went a LOT worse than in previous runs of these turns. 3 Colonies. THREE. I am going to attack and attempt to keep attacking to try and keep the Liir from attacking. Of course, since it's 10 turns for me to drop a fleet, and only one or two for them at the moment, well, we'll see how that goes. I'll probably push for Anti-matter and Farcasters next update to improve my turnaround time.
No sign of hostile DNs yet, at least. I'll get Neutronium, Anti-Matter, Farcasting, then start working on unlocking mine though. Might detour for mining since that can maybe MAYBE lead to Arcologies and the top tier medicine that will finally make me immune to these bioweapons.
Thank god it wasn't a human in control though - if you're running a cloaking bio-weapon design and they haven't deployed Deep Scanners, go total war and use stealthed command and supply ships, and take every one of their colonies at once. Only the Tarka and maybe the Morrigi are fast enough to even catch scout ships you might send out to find their worlds.
Fuck space dolphins though! Seriously. (yes, I would've pulled the exact same trick if I'd been playing them.)